Sunday, November 11, 2012

Reflections, Diwali 2012

It has been a month and a half since I went back to work. I am busier than I have ever been. Between the children and home and work every second of each day is accounted for. It is more difficult than ever to find the time for the things that I really love like music and books and writing.

And yet, every day I ask myself why I did not do it earlier. Considering this is my second innings, I am aware of the pitfalls that await me at every turn and while I have no pretensions to being wiser, I am consciously taking a slightly different approach to things than I did the last time around.

Cutting out the noise. There are people who can do many things and all of them successfully. These people are normally very tired folks. I have no such claims. I am here to do two or three things and everything else is noise that I have no time for. So, I work and I raise my two kids. "I do one thing at a time, I do it well and then I move on." Full points for guessing who said that without resorting to Google.

When it comes to raising kids, I have finally internalized the very important distinction between the tasks of raising kids and the relationship that I have with them. I am not one to find joy in the washing of bums and the belaboured feeding of meals. I know mothers are somehow expected to burst into song at the opportunity to deliver at these jobs. Some really do like it. I don't. I like reading to them and I like talking to them and I like baking with them and I love to tell them stories but those to me are the joyful parts. The tasks, well, I have done them for a long time and I am very happy to outsource them and I do. There was an article about this I read somewhere that I just cannot seem to place. Oh well, next time.

My friends ask me if I face any guilt at being away or if I am stressed at spending time away from home. Again, something a person said resounds true in this context. People are stressed when they are asked to do things that they don't want to do. It is not the quantum of work or the extended hours or the intensity with which it flows - if one wants to be there, there is no stress and no unhappiness. Simple. True.

There is no point in debating the choices everyday. I cannot question the rights and wrongs of my being at work every time I have to leave a sick kid at home. Those are just days, just situations and they have to be handled. The larger picture cannot be questioned every time life presents a hurdle.

In other news, we are chess parents. Well, what did you expect from babies borne of the union of two nerds? Adi has taken to chess and the family now has to balance their already overflowing schedules with chess tournaments and classes. It seems to strike something deep within him and to see him at the chequered board to me is like being at some strange Tantrik ritual that I know nothing of. For the sort of child who cannot sit still even while watching TV and has to jump from one piece of furniture to another, it seems to have quietened him down in ways that we cannot even begin to fathom. Last evening, we all trooped to see Adi receive his first medal and I am currently catching hold of complete strangers on the street to tell them about my firstborn's feats.

And Diwali is around the corner. We have bought all manners of rang-birange kandeel and diyas and the decorations will begin in right earnest today. I hope you, my dear ever-present, ever-welcome reader have a great festive season ahead. Go ahead, have that laddoo. I will.